A Creepy Ending to an Otherwise Great Week - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 29 Old 06-20-2011 Thread Starter
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A Creepy Ending to an Otherwise Great Week

We had a blast at the Sailnet gathering last weekend, T-storms and all. Loved the food and all, but my favorite times were the chances to sit in cockpits and at the picnic tables and chat one-on-one with my e-friends. Got a whole lot of insights into another side of Dave & Donna, Clayton & Leslie, Dave & Janet, Shawn, Mike, Joe ... what fun!

Had another gathering planned for the following weekend, also north of the Bay Bridge, so we decided to take the whole week and go exploring. A couple of days in Baltimore were first. We stayed at Anchorage marina and walked to Fells Point (1/2 mile) for all the nightlife and history. (For the record, we probably wouldn't stay there again; less than 1/2 mile east is the newer Lighthouse Point for just about the same price. PM me if you want more details.) Cool location for the Flag Day fireworks at Ft McHenry, which we watched from our cockpit.

Then after all that downtown-ness, some quiet time up the Chester, ending up with a great rendezvous hosted by our marina at Queenstown Creek. I was nervous to go in there (we draw 5'), but staying close to the green cans we never saw less than 7.5' at low tide, and anchored in 9'. One of the largest heron rookeries in the Ches. is just over the hill; at one time we saw an old bird and 7 juveniles on the beach - funny, I always think of them as solitary birds. Dinghied over to the town dock and walked around the historic tiny town and to the outlet malls - I don't like shopping but couldn't resist lunch at Chesapeake Gourmet.

Most of the week weather was pleasant, but the wind was either too much or none at all, we motored everywhere. I was intrigued to realize how little prep I thought we needed to do to get ready for this 10-day trip, it just seemed so minor after our 9-month trip last year. Just top up water, fuel, and rum, and we were on our way. That's the up side of living aboard; the down side is that it took us a couple of hours to put away the day-to-day clutter that had accumulated on countertops and on deck since the last time we went out for a daysail!

Coming home we heard a boat just a mile or so ahead of us calling the Coast Guard. They had found a decomposed body floating just south of the Bay Bridge off Greenbury Point. Er, part of a body, it seemed to be missing its legs. CG asked them to stay with it until they could get a boat out there to pick it up (15 min). Both CG and DNR inflatables blasted past us to join the boat that was circling the grisly find. Our course took us within about 100 yards of them. No details were available either yesterday or in today's paper, the body was too decomposed to determine age, race, or gender. Ugh.


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Cinderella, CSY 33, Photo by Joe McCary

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. - Sidney J. Harris


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post #2 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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I heard this on the radio this morning. Pretty awful! I am glad we weren't the ones that had to stay with the body until the CG came.
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post #3 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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Jeez - that is creepy. During our recent race, we came across a pfd floating "face down" amongst a large flotilla of seaweed. Turned out it was empty. But it was creepy nonetheless motoring up to that thing to see if there might be someone in it.

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post #4 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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One hears some scary sad stuff on the vhf, people overboard, boats sinking. I'm glad you didn't find the body.
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post #5 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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That's true. I was alarmed to hear as many distress calls as we did during the 3 days of our race (unspecified mayday called in, fishing vessel EPIRB firing off with no other contact, lost sailboat, different fishing vessel rescue, and others). I had no idea the CG stayed that busy.

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post #6 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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Ewwww, creppy.

I remember a similar scenario off Pools Island many years ago. I recall the CG asking us to stay in the area and keep a look out for the body. Never did see it but did as asked and went back to fishing, after we heard they took the body aboard.


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post #7 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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There were a couple of guys missing from Memorial Day weekend, it may have been one of them. Glad it wasn't us that found him. After finding one in the Delaware River Easter weekend we decided once was enough. The guy we found had jumped off the Delaware Memorial Bridge (185' up) 2 weeks prior. We notified the CG and stayed with him until recovery crews showed up 45mins later. We also were able to get a tug/barge to divert around him or he'd have been lost forever. We were just glad his family got him back for a proper burial.
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post #8 of 29 Old 06-20-2011 Thread Starter
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Yes, the CG was pretty busy that day. I feel bad for the guys - an adult male and two teenagers - who found the body, and had to hang around with it until the CG could arrive at the scene. Especially when the CG asked the guy to describe the body, you could hear him trying to use proper radio etiquette but his voice was a bit choked up. Certainly understandable. Not exactly what he signed on for when he went out for a bit of Sunday morning boating/fishing.


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Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. - Sidney J. Harris


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post #9 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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My grandfather was a commercial clammer, he said that he caught a human arm once, don't think the rest of that body was ever found.

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post #10 of 29 Old 06-20-2011
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Once, about 10 or 12 years ago, I was driving across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and I saw a woman jump off. I pulled over, called CalTrans from a call box and they contacted the CHP who, in turn, called the Coast Guard. The Coasties requested that I spot the body for them from the bridge, since I had binoculars with me. I had to watch that woman float towards the Golden Gate for the better part of an hour, until the chopper and rescue craft got to her. Right before Christmas too. Ruined that day for me and a few more besides.
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